Outfielder Carlos Beltran has reportedly told the New York Mets he would waive his full no-trade clause in a move to contending team. Mets' fans and the team's manager, Terry Collins, need to face the reality that the team is not a legitimate contender, despite currently being above .500, and that they best thing for the financially burdened franchise is to move the 34-year-old for prospects and salary relief.
With that in mind, here are five potential landing spots for Beltran, who is having a resurgent season with a .281 batting average, 11 home runs, 53 RBI and a .373 on-base percentage.
San Francisco -- Despite the loss of star catcher Buster Posey the defending World Series champs are leading the NL West thanks to their oustanding pitching staff. The Giants, though, remain offensively challenged. First baseman Aubrey Huff leads San Francisco with eight homers, and with 41 RBI he is the only Giant player with at least 30 runs batted in. For the sake of contrast, the Yankees have six players with more home runs than Huff and and five players with more RBI.
St. Louis -- Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is current out with a fractured forearm. though he should be back before the trading deadline. The Cardinals, though, could look to boost their offense with Beltran as they try to catch the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central -- especially if they believe Beltran could return to center field for a couple of months.
Philadelphia -- Other than Shane Victorino (.291/9/31/.357) the NL East-leading Phillies are getting almost no offensive production from their outfield. They simply have not replaced Jayson Werth, lost to Washington in free agency. Moving Beltran to the Phillies, though, would require the Mets to stomach sending him to a division rival.
Yankees -- This, of course, would require GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets brass to stomach an even more bitter pill -- shipping one of their best players across town. Right fielder Nick Swisher and designated hitter Jorge Posada are hitting much better than they did early in the season, but there would still be at-bats in the Bronx for Beltran as a right-handed DH, as a replacement for Andruw Jones (.213, four home runs) as the right-handed part of what is basically a left field platoon with Brett Gardner and as possibly as a left-handed hitting compliment to Swisher in right, since Swisher is hitting only .211 left-handed.
LA Angels -- The Angels made a big move for veteran outfielder Vernon Wells in the offseason, but that is not working out as Wells in hitting just .219 with 10 homers and 26 RBI. Anaheim trails Texas by just 1.5 games in the AL West and if they really want to stay in the race they will need more offense. Beltran could provide it.